Asian Shares Climb As Yields Stabilize
Asian stocks advanced on Thursday, as a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields helped push rate-sensitive tech stocks higher and China pledged measures to cushion the damage to the economy due to the stringent lockdown measures imposed in Shanghai and elsewhere.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.2 percent to finish at 3,225.64 after China’s cabinet flagged upcoming cuts to banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) and interest rates to counter the impact of Covid-19 and boost the recovery and growth of consumption.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.7 percent to 21,518.08, extending gains for a third day ahead of a long holiday weekend.
Japanese stocks rose for a second straight day, led by gains among chipmakers and travel-related firms. The Nikkei 225 Index surged 1.2 percent to 27,172.00, closing above the psychological 27,000 level for the first time since April 6.
Startup investor SoftBank Group jumped 3 percent, while Advantest and Tokyo Electron rose around 2 percent each. Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing advanced 2.1 percent ahead of its earnings release.
Renesas Electronics surged 6.4 percent on share buyback reports. Airline ANA Holdings soared 3.6 percent after U.S. airline operator Delta Air Lines Inc. said it was seeing a surge in bookings.
Australian markets eked out modest gains, with travel stocks and gold miners leading the surge. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent to 7,523.40 and posted a fourth weekly gain ahead of a long weekend due to Good Friday and Easter Monday holidays.
Qantas Airways and Webjet both soared over 7 percent following the nationwide easing of Covid-19 restrictions and border closures.
Newcrest Mining, Regis Resources and Northern Star Resources climbed 2-4 percent as concerns surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict and inflationary pressures boosted demand for gold.
Australia’s unemployment rate held at a 13-year low in March as jobs growth slowed after months of strong gains, official data showed earlier in the day.
Seoul stocks reversed earlier losses to end marginally higher as the Bank of Korea unexpectedly raised its policy rate to the highest since August 2019 to cool consumer prices fueled by pandemic-era stimulus and exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
New Zealand shares ended slightly higher on the back of falling Treasury yields and an advance on Wall Street overnight. The benchmark NZX-50 Index closed 0.1 percent higher at 11,891.58, snapping a six-day losing streak.
U.S. stocks rose overnight as Treasury yields pulled back across the curve and investors digested the latest earnings reports from the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Delta Air Lines and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Investors shrugged off data showing that U.S. monthly producer prices increased by the most in more than 12 years in March.
The Dow climbed 1 percent, the S&P 500 added 1.1 percent to snap a three-day losing streak, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2 percent.
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